Cox says ministry is responding to Valleyview issue

Battlefords MLA Herb Cox notes there have been some efforts made to address the ongoing issues at Valleyview Towers in North Battleford. Residents have reported disorderly conduct and frequent visits by police to deal with incidents there, but Cox says the provincial ministry has been responding.

“We’ve had good response from Saskatchewan Housing Authority,” said Cox, who says he also continues to be in contact with several tenants there. There have also been some moves to deal with the problems there.

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Cox said that at Valleyview Towers, security had been expanded to seven days a week instead of weekends only. Also, there has been an increase in the use of security cameras at the facility. 

“Sask Housing and the local housing authority are working to resolve the problems that are there,” Cox said.

Problems at Valleyview Towers have been in the news since the spring of this year. At one point, tenants circulated a petition to the Ministry of Social Services, asking for the building to be reinstated as a seniors-only building.

While the Valleyview Towers has historically been considered by the general population of the city as well as the tenants to have been intended for seniors and disabled persons, it is now being administered as social housing, including “hard to house” tenants. Conflicts with some of the newer tenants have been reported and complaints have been made about management not dealing with the results.

The News-Optimist contacted Social Services in June about the controversy. As to why people on social services were being housed in Valleyview Towers, a government email responded, “excluding Saskatoon and Regina, we have provided some further flexibility to housing authorities regarding these units.”

“It’s important that people in North Battleford in housing need have access to social housing,” the government email says.

In July, Social Services Minister Paul Merriman told the News-Optimist he was aware of the issue and was hoping to have officials looking into the matter reporting back to him within the next 10 days.

Inquiries to the Battlefords Housing Authority manager have gone unanswered.

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